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PM Narendra Modi’s historic address before Nepal’s Constituent Assembly

PM Narendra Modi’s historic address before Nepal’s Constituent Assembly
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is presently on a tour to Nepal, today made a historic address to the Constituent Assembly of that country, saying Nepal’s Constitution would set an example for the whole world, especially to strife-torn regions, as a model for leaving the path of violence, and how a peaceful and democratic process can help achieve myriad goals.
Modi said he was deeply touched to be the first foreign leader invited to address Nepal’s Constituent Assembly. He said this was a gesture of respect from the Nepalese people, not only to him, but to the 125 crore-odd Indians.
Asserting that India would always support Nepal’s sovereign right to choose its own destiny, the prime minister said India wishes for a democratic and prosperous Nepal, which would rise as high as the Himalayas and set an example for the whole world.
The prime minister began his address in the Nepali language, saying his government accords top priority to relations between the two countries – which he added – were as timeless as the Himalayas and the Ganga. They were relations built on the bonding of hearts, and a shared cultural heritage. “Humaare sambandh kaagaz ki kashtiyon se aage nahin badhe hain. Humaare sambandh dilon ki daastaan kehte hain.”
Dwelling on the shared heritage, the prime minister said he belongs to the land of Somnath, began his journey in national politics from Kashi, and had now arrived at the feet of Pashupatinath. This is the land that gave birth to Lord Buddha, who still holds the whole world spellbound, remarked Modi.
All the wars that India has won, have witnessed Nepalese blood being shed, and Nepalese attaining martyrdom defending India, the prime minister observed. “I salute the Nepali brave hearts who have laid down their lives for India”, said the visiting prime minister.
Modi quoted Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to highlight the bravery of Gorkha soldiers.
Noting that the world was keenly observing the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, the prime minister said members of this assembly were not just drafting Constitutional provisions, or rights of different sections of society. The Constitution of Nepal should be a document like the “sanhita” of the Vedas and the Upanishads, he said, adding it should define a new direction for the country. However, the prime minister added, “Rishi-Mann” – the mind of a sage – is required for this task. The mind that can see far into the future, which can anticipate problems, which can think of taking society forward even a hundred years later, he observed. The Rishi-Mann had developed the Vedas and the Upanishads – such application is required now.
Giving the example of the Indian Constitution, the prime minister said it unites different parts of India and represents the hopes and aspirations of 125 crore Indians. He said the Constitution of Nepal should inspire the hopes and dreams of not just the people of Nepal, but of the entire world.
Elaborating on the theme of “Yuddh se Buddh ki ore”, the prime minister said that once upon a time, the great King Ashoka had adopted this path and created history. Today, the members of this Constituent Assembly have shunned the path of violence and embarked on building a Constitution, which would be a beacon of peace and hope, not only for Nepal, but also for various strife-torn regions of the world.
 “I congratulate those who have forsaken the bullet in favour of the ballot,” added the prime minister.
Nepal is a sovereign nation; let this sovereign nation touch the heights of the Himalaya; let the world take notice, asserted the prime minister.
Let the Nepali Constitution be one in which all sections of Nepali society feel that it is a bouquet where one flower represents them and their aspirations, remarked Modi. “Har Nepali ko lage ki yeh ek aisa guldasta hai jismein mere ek phool ki bhi mahak hai.”
May the sanvidhaan (Constitution) represent the ideal of “Sarvjan Hitay, Sarvjan Sukhay”. A Constitution unites, it does not divide, the prime minister said. He added it should not collapse under the weight of the present, but build on hopes for the future. That, according to the prime minister, would be “Rishi-Mann” – the mind of a sage – which would make a Constitution for future generations.
Let commas and full-stops not become poisons for the future, the prime minister urged the Constituent Assembly.
Noting that a Federal Democratic Republic is the goal of the Constituent Assembly, Modi said India respects and welcomes it, and hoped it would be reality soon.
Referring to India-Nepal relations, the prime minister remarked that when an adverse wind blows in Nepal, India too feels the cold. Therefore, he remarked, how can India be happy if Nepal is unhappy. Giving the example of the Koshi floods in Nepal, the prime minister said his government has started work since Saturday itself to help provide relief.
Speaking on economic issues, the prime minister said Nepal’s hydropower potential can resolve India’s power shortage. He said this potential, if harnessed properly, can make Nepal a prosperous country. Referring to an age-old saying – paani aur jawaani pahaad ke kaam nahin aate – the prime minister said the time has come to change this mindset. India and Nepal are both young nations, and we can give our youth opportunity by harnessing natural resources. India wants to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal in its journey of progress, the prime minister asserted.
In a series of announcements, Modi said pipelines would be built to help transport oil to Nepal. He said scholarships to students from Nepal would be increased. India would help Nepal emerge as a major exporter of herbal medicines. India would also help develop the tourism potential of Nepal, both as a spiritual and adventure tourism destination.
The prime minister gave a HIT formula for Nepal, saying India wants to help Nepal build highways (H), information highways (I) and transways - transmission lines (T). The prime minister also announced he is keen to double power supply to Nepal.
Stating that the sooner Nepal comes closer to India, the better, Modi urged that the bridge on the Mahakali river and the Pancheshwar multi-purpose project should be taken up at the earliest.
Noting that it is more expensive to make a telephone call between India and Nepal than it is to make a call between India and the US, the prime minister said he is keen to change this discrepancy.
The India-Nepal border should not be a barrier but a bridge to help bring prosperity to both sides, the prime minister said. He offered assistance to Nepal in the fields of organic farming and soil health.
The prime minister announced India will give Nepal 10,000 crore Nepali rupees concessional line of credit for its development.
May the friendship between India and Nepal live long, and may Nepal rise higher than the Himalayas, concluded the prime minister. (PIB)

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